Resources for Health Professionals

Find Cancer Early Information for GPs and Primary Health Nurses

In Australia, over 75 per cent of cancers first present in general practice as a result of symptoms. 

General Practitioners (GPs) play a key role in the early detection of cancer, however they can often experience challenges in early diagnosis of cancers;

  • GPs will only see five to 10 new cases of cancers (excluding skin cancers) among several thousand consultations per year.
  • Most symptoms of cancer have more common benign causes.
  • Cancers in general practice often present initially with more subtle non-specific symptoms.

Find Cancer Early aims to promote earlier detection and diagnosis of four of the most common cancers in Western Australia (WA); colorectal, lung, prostate and breast.

To learn about ‘Find Cancer Early: A Guide for General Practitioners’ and how to utilise it in your practice, view the video below and access the Guide in the below list of resources:

The guide is formatted as follows:

  • Symptoms that best predict cancer
  • Positive Predictive Value (PPV) tables for each of the four cancer types:
    • PPVs quantify the probability of cancer for individual and pairs of clinical features (in patients over the age of 40).
    • The risk values represent the proportion of people out of 100 with individual or combinations of clinical features, who will have an underlying cancer.
    • The colour codes and associated risk values can help support decisions about investigation and referral, and are designed to be used alongside clinical judgement and professional experience.
      • Probabilities highlighted in red are greater than 5%; urgent referral should be considered.
      • Probabilities highlighted in orange are between 2 – 5% and probably warrant prompt investigation.
      • Probabilities highlighted in yellow are between 1 – 2% and require follow-up and possible investigation to rule out any underlying serious condition.
      • Probabilities highlighted in white are less than 1%.
  • Risk factors
  • Implications for practice
  • Diagnostic pathways
  • Referral criteria
For a full list of references, download the Reference List (pdf kb).

Program History

Find Cancer Early is an evidence-based symptom awareness campaign for regional Western Australians. Visit the Program History page to learn more about the origins of this program.

Find Cancer Early Resources for GPs and Nurses

Find Cancer Early Guide for General Practitioners

Find Cancer Early GP Guide

‘Find Cancer Early: A Guide for General Practitioners' is a tool designed to assist WA GPs in the early diagnosis of patients with colorectal, lung, prostate and breast cancer. The resource utilises an evidence-based approach to recognise cancer symptoms earlier. Developed in consultation with the Cancer Council WA General Practice Advisory Committee and Professor Jon Emery (Herman Professor of Primary Care Cancer Research, University of Melbourne); the guide incorporates risk assessment tools (positive predictive value tables) developed from the CAPER studies by Professor William Hamilton and colleagues at Cancer Research UK.

Download PDF 2.00 MB

Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers: A Guide For Medical Practitioners

This resource provides an overview of types of skin cancer, diagnosis and treatment options.

Download PDF 911.61 KB
Find Cancer Early Referral Directory

Western Australia Cancer Referral Directory

The WA Cancer Referral Directory provides information on local (regional and metropolitan) referral contacts of cancer specialists, multidisciplinary assessment clinics and services. Please check before referring patients to visiting specialists to ensure they are still visiting your local area. In time referral pathways will be available through WAPHA Health Pathways.

Download PDF 781.06 KB
General Practice Education Project Cancer Council WA

General Practice Education Project

The Cancer Council WA General Practice Education Project delivers a range of cancer education activities to general practices in Western Australia. The project aims to ensure that general practitioners, practice nurses and other allied health professionals working in primary care have access to education, services and resources that facilitate improved knowledge in the areas of prevention and early detection of cancer in the community.

Resources and Links For Health Professionals Cancer Council WA

Resources and links for Health Professionals

Cancer Council WA has identified a number of resources relevant to health professionals, on a range of cancer topics and areas.

Find Cancer Early GP Education Videos

Breast Cancer GP Education Video Cancer Council WA

Breast Cancer GP Education Video

Presented by: Professor Christobel Saunders, Professor and Head Division of Surgery, UWA Medical School

Bowel Cancer GP Education Video Cancer Council WA

Colorectal Cancer GP Education Video

Presented by: Dr Hooi Ee, Gastroenterologist, Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital

Lung Cancer GP Education Video Cancer Council WA

Lung Cancer GP Education Video

Presented by: Dr Wei-Sen Lam, Medical Oncologist, WA Country Health Service

Prostate Cancer GP Education Video Cancer Council WA

Prostate Cancer GP Education Video

Presented by: Dr Matthew Brown, Urologist, Fiona Stanley Hospital and Perth Urology Clinic

Resources for Aboriginal Health Professionals

Aboriginal Health Professionals Webpage Cancer Council WA

Aboriginal Health Professionals

Cancer Council WA has a number of education initiatives and resources for Aboriginal health professionals.

Resources for Patients, Waiting Rooms and Consult Rooms

Cancer Education Video Still Image

Cancer Education Video

This video is cartoon style and was created for Aboriginal health workers or other health professionals who work closely with Aboriginal people.

Find Cancer Early Resource Order Form

Bulk Resource Order Form

Order FREE Find Cancer Early checklists and other resources for your home, work or your local health or community centre. Simply download the PDF, complete the form and return to us via the email or postal address listed at the top of the form.

Download PDF 186.28 KB
Find Cancer Early Symptom Checklist General Design

Find Cancer Early Checklist A4 Poster - General Design

This checklist contains general early symptoms of the five most common cancers affecting Western Australians: prostate, breast, bowel, lung and skin cancer including melanoma. This poster is A4 size.

Download PDF 276.81 KB
Find Cancer Early Symptom Checklist General Design

Find Cancer Early Checklist A3 Poster - General Design

This checklist contains general early symptoms of the five most common cancers affecting Western Australians: prostate, breast, bowel, lung and skin cancer including melanoma. This poster is A3 size.

Download PDF 288.81 KB
Find Cancer Early Symptom Checklist General Design DL Size

Find Cancer Early Checklist Flyer - General Design

This checklist contains general early symptoms of the five most common cancers affecting Western Australians: prostate, breast, bowel, lung and skin cancer including melanoma. This flyer is DL size (1/3 of A4 size).

Download PDF 570.95 KB
Find Cancer Early Symptom Checklist Aboriginal Design

Find Cancer Early Checklist A4 Poster - Aboriginal Design

This checklist contains general early symptoms of the five most common cancers affecting Western Australians: prostate, breast, bowel, lung and skin cancer including melanoma. This poster is A4 size.

Download PDF 277.54 KB
Find Cancer Early Symptom Checklist Aboriginal Design

Find Cancer Early Checklist A3 Poster- Aboriginal Design

This checklist contains general early symptoms of the five most common cancers affecting Western Australians: prostate, breast, bowel, lung and skin cancer including melanoma. This poster is A3 size.

Download PDF 289.77 KB
Find Cancer Early Symptom Checklist Aboriginal Design DL Size

Find Cancer Early Checklist Flyer - Aboriginal Design

This checklist contains general early symptoms of the five most common cancers affecting Western Australians: prostate, breast, bowel, lung and skin cancer including melanoma. This flyer is DL size (1/3 of A4 size).

Download PDF 569.36 KB